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Manhattan Associates Keeps Setting Records

By Dan Caplinger – Feb 2, 2016 at 9:50PM

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The supply-chain management technology company kept growing in all the right ways.


Image: Manhattan Associates.

Retailers and other companies have to make sure that they get products where they belong efficiently and quickly. Manhattan Associates (MANH 0.71%) helps its customers do exactly that, with its supply chain management tools providing helpful support. Coming into Manhattan Associates' fourth-quarter financial report on Tuesday, investors were looking for more growth from the company, and it delivered record results on the top and bottom lines that further established Manhattan Associates' ability to make progress. Let's take a closer look at how Manhattan Associates did and what could come next for the supply chain management company.

Will the records ever stop for Manhattan Associates?
Manhattan Associates' fourth-quarter performance was par for the course for longtime investors in the company. Revenue jumped 8% to $141.4 million, setting a new record for sales and largely meeting expectations among investors. Net income soared 30% to $26.4 million, and even after allowing for certain extraordinary items, adjusted earnings per share climbed to $0.39 per share, $0.04 above the consensus forecast among those following the stock.

A closer look at Manhattan Associates' results shows many of the same trends we've seen in past quarters. The services segment saw sales climb 10%, with faster growth in professional services and with customer support and software enhancement revenue lagging behind with growth of just 3%. Hardware-related and other revenue was up less than 2%, with the billed-travel portion of that figure falling from year-ago levels.

Geographically, Manhattan Associates performed best in the Americas, where revenue climbed 8% and operating income jumped by nearly 30%. The Europe/Middle East/Africa saw its operating income nearly double, but revenue in the Asia-Pacific region fell from its year-earlier performance as currency impacts affected its numbers.

The sales team at Manhattan Associates kept up its strong performance, bringing in six contracts with recognized licensing revenue of $1 million or more. New customers included Eddie Bauerand MVP Group, and the company also expanded relationships with companies like Heineken and Coach (TPR -3.47%).

CEO Eddie Capel was happy about the company's success. "This marks our fourth consecutive year of record revenue and earnings per share," Capel said, pointing to "demand for our omni-channel store and distribution management solutions" in powering growth.

Can Manhattan Associates keep moving forward?
Capel sees plenty of good things ahead. "Despite persistent global macro sluggishness," the CEO said, "we will continue to be a serial investor in innovation and focus on the customers to increase market share."

Manhattan Associates' guidance for 2016 was similarly upbeat. The company expects to post revenue of $609 million to $615 million, which would represent growth of between 9.5% and 10.5% and be consistent with current expectations among investors. Manhattan Associates believes that its adjusted earnings per share for 2016 will be within a range of $1.69 to $1.72, which is above the $1.66 per share consensus forecast currently held by investors. That would equate to growth of 11% to 13%.

The big question is whether Manhattan Associates will enjoy the success of its customers. For instance, Coach enjoyed a relatively solid holiday season, and that could bolster its relationship with the supply chain management solutions provider in future quarters. If Coach or other customers start to have more trouble, then they might not be as willing to use the supply chain products that Manhattan Associates provides.

Manhattan Associates stock fared reasonably well, rising about 2% in after-hours trading following the announcement. Still, with a lofty valuation, investors are counting on future growth to justify the current share price for the company. Manhattan Associates will need to keep executing well to keep investors satisfied throughout 2016 and beyond.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Coach. The Motley Fool recommends Manhattan Associates. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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